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In the Store

It used to be that when I ordered a box of my own books, it arrived just as quickly as anything else I purchased from Amazon.  But the pandemic seems to have dramatically slowed the process; it now takes weeks after ordering for the books to show up.  I ordered a box of Ask Maggie, Volume I almost a week before I announced the book was available, and it was finally delivered on Saturday!  Since I didn’t want to have to sit on a number of orders until the books arrived, I didn’t start offering autographed copies until that date was at least closer.  But now I believe and hope it’s close enough; if you’d like an autographed copy of it or any of my other books, please visit my store by clicking on the picture at the top of the right-hand column.  I’d also like to ask a favor; once you buy and read the book (whether from me or directly from Amazon), would you please take the time to review it?  Since I now have a number of products available there (five books, two short stories and a documentary), I only lack a sufficient number of reviews to trigger Amazon’s algorthms to start suggesting it to browsers in the greater Amazon ecosystem.  And given how economically difficult this year has been, that would be a great help to me.

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You have two things against you — you’re black and I have a badge.  –  Donald Kincaid

Vincent Price was never too proud or snobbish to appear in just about anything, including a plethora of TV commercials from the ’70s and ’80s; this one was from one of the first credit cards to offer reward points.  The links above the video were provided by Scott Greenfield, Rick Horowitz, Tim Cushing, Radley Balko, Mike Siegel, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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Despite delays and obstructions, Ask Maggie, Volume I is here!  It contains 80 of my answers to reader questions, and volume II (currently planned for October) will feature another 80.  I’m really pleased to have been able to keep up the pace I set for myself by publishing one book every three months this year; I’m hoping I can maintain that for the three books I want to publish next year, starting in January.  As usual, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they’ll be available in my bookstore as soon as the box of my own copies arrives (last time they took much longer than expected).  Thank you for reading, and please consider helping me out by reviewing it on Amazon!

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Seven years ago I published “Catching Up“, in which I gave a new reader advice of how to get started reading my blog.  At the time, I compared the strategy of starting at the beginning and trying to read every post with “hacking your way across the Amazon Basin with a machete,” and since there are now roughly 3.5 times as many posts as there were then, that is barely even hyperbole any more.  Some of the advice is still good, such as the following:

…subscribe to the blog and read the new columns as they come out; most of them contain links to older columns, which you could then read as they come up…[twice a week] I publish a news column…made up of…short subsections; each item has its own title, and the vast majority of those titles refer back to older posts (each containing a link to the referenced post).  This will lead you to a lot of older columns every week, assuming you have the time!  Also, every Sunday I publish a “Links” column, and the bottom section, “From the Archives”, contains links to the posts from that same week for the past two years; you could click on and read any that sound interesting.  You can also follow me on Twitter, where I share lots of interesting links…and also remind readers of my columns from that same day one, two and…three years in the past…

But now that I’ve been publishing for over a decade, the best way to start is to simply buy my “best of” collections, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I and Volume II; they’re available in both paperback and Kindle editions, and each contains 52 hand-picked, revised and edited essays from the first six years of the blog.  Then watch this space for future “best of” collections, including Ask Maggie, Volume I (a collection of 80 answers to reader questions, which should be available later this week) and Volume II (same, should be available in October).  In addition to presenting what I think are my most important essays in a more accessible and easier-to-browse format, these volumes give you the chance to support my work in a tangible way, which is especially important in these difficult times; it’s a perfect example of a win-win situation!

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We put incredibly onerous restrictions on them that are…des[igned] to…make them fail.  –  Daniel Lambright

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) 

New York increases “indefinite imprisonment” to “death sentence”:

On March 4, Hector Rodriguez was sent to Rikers Island because he failed to log his address with state’s sex offender registry — even though he had been homeless for years.  Rodriguez died June 21 on his jail bed, while struggling to breathe during a severe asthma attack…he was 60 years old and had contracted COVID-19 in April…Rodriguez was convicted of raping a woman…in 1979, when he was a teenager.  He spent 23 years in prison and has been on the Sex Offender Registry since his release…“He died in a jail where he was put because he didn’t tell someone he was homeless? What kind of society does that?” asked Vincent Schiraldi, who served as probation commissioner during the Giuliani administration…

Sex Rays

Where “bad vibes” is used to mean “sex rays”:

At the posh 75 Main in Southampton [New York], owner Zach Erdem…[publicly] chopped up and torched Table 1 — the favorite of onetime regular Jeffrey Epstein, and occasionally, Harvey Weinstein…“I’m sick of the bad energy of this table,…Every time I see it I think of that sicko.”  The bustling brunch crowd left their tables to gawk at the bonfire in progress, whooping and chanting, “Burn, Epstein, burn!” as Erdem hacked at the cursed table and burned it into oblivion.  Renee Downing, a Miami native who summers in the Hamptons, toasted the roasting. “I think this sends a strong statement”…

Said statement being, “I figured out a way to turn last year’s news into an ad for my overpriced hipster restaurant, because if Gwyneth Paltrow can profit from a bunch of superstitious snobs with far more money than cognitive development, so can I.”

The Immunity Syndrome (#666)

The result of “abstinence only sex education”:

Plastic wrap.  Plastic bags.  These are some of the workarounds teens use to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, pediatrician Dr. Laura Grubb, a specialist in adolescent medicine…published…in the journal Pediatrics…Grubb said…”I’ve heard so many teens tell me that they don’t need contraception or they don’t need condoms because they don’t plan on being sexually active.  And then a couple weeks later they’re back in the office and we’re running a pregnancy test or we’re testing for sexually transmitted infections.”   Recent rates of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, have been skyrocketing among teens and young adults, at the same time that the number of teen pregnancies and births has declined…Adolescents and young adults account for more than 50% of new STI diagnoses, despite being only about 25% of the sexually active population…they [also] account for 1 in 5 of all new HIV…diagnoses in the United States…

The Last Shall Be First (#768)

Politicians’ potty obsession goes federal:

A copy of the new rule that will allow homeless shelters to refuse transgender people has been leaked to the media, and it contains instructions on how to spot transgender women to target them for discrimination…the Obama-era Equal Access Rule…required homeless shelters that receive HUD funding to house transgender people with the gender they identify as.  The rollback…allows single-gender homeless shelters to decide if they want a housing policy based on sex assigned at birth or gender identity, effectively allowing shelters…to determine who is transgender…the rule [says]…a shelter…may use “factors such as height, the presence…of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics”…if a homeless person appears…transgender…the shelter is allowed to ask them for proof of “biological sex”…[but stops short of allowing] shelters [to] forc[e] suspected transgender people to strip in front of them…

Checklist (#972) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black social worker is suing American Airlines…[after] airline employees [accused] her of kidnapping a white toddler whom she was accompanying during a flight last fall.  Shannon Murphy, a social worker with Riverside County, California…was pulled off a plane in October and airline employees [temporarily abducted] the…toddler [she was bringing] back from a court-mandated two-week visit with his father in Arkansas.  While [she] was waiting for the second leg of a flight [at] Dallas-Fort Worth [a racist passenger]…told a flight attendant that they [fantasized] Murphy [was] holding a kidnap victim…Airline employees [forced] Murphy…[off] the plane…and took the child from her…she had paperwork…including her work ID, the child’s birth certificate, and a signed copy of the court order for the trip…but the…[employees preferred to be melodramatic instead of simply looking at the documents on the damned plane]…after about 40 minutes, during which the flight was delayed at the gate, she was let back on…

Dutch Threat (#1017)

The idea of just letting sex workers see clients in private, away from cops, bureaucrats and tourists, never occurs to the Dutch:

the Netherlands[‘ biased and punitive] lockdown measures…[plunged] legal…sex workers…into deep financial trouble and…emboldened [NIMBY]…residents…to [demand]…the [government throttle]…the…tourism [on which the inner city economy depends]…Sex workers [point out that, as is typical in places steeped in puritanism,] their industry has been unfairly singled out as the root of the problem…Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema [is using]…the pandemic [to push her scheme to confine]…sex workers…[in] a “prostitution hotel”…outside the [direct sight of busybodies]…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1056) 

This is the second time we’ve seen fetishists trying to shore up their collapsing fantasy by pretending that “sex traffickers” discarded their “slaves” during the pandemic:

Thousands of Nigerian women forced into prostitution were left to starve by sex traffickers during the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy…[racist Europeans fantasize that] more than 80% of the tens of thousands of Nigerian women who arrived in Italy from Libya in recent years were victims of highly organised sex trafficking gangs.  The [fetishists claim that] women are forced into prostitution to pay off debts of up to €40,000 (£36,000) and controlled through violence and fear of juju” black magic rituals they are made to undergo before their journey to Europe…during the prolonged and strict three-month Covid-19 lockdown introduced by the Italian government, trafficking gangs abandoned women and their children, who were unable to leave their homes or work and were left without food or money to pay the rent.  Given the illegal status of their jobs, they had no recourse to financial assistance or unemployment benefits…

Anyone with at least one foot in reality could comprehend that sex workers are in financial trouble for the same reason as many other people, but that would require admitting that sex work is work.

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It’s now been a year since I largely abandoned traditional escort advertising sites such as Eros; I still have a few free ads (such as on Tryst), but as I explained in “In the Club“, most of my new clients over the past two years have come from “people who approach me via my blog, Twitter, other writing, my public speaking, TV interviews, etc.”  That column also explained that by the end of this year, I plan to semi-retire, seeing only people I’ve already seen before (and the occasional new client who comes directly recommended by a sex worker I know personally).  By the beginning of this year I’d seen very little change in my income despite five months without regular ads, and though like most sex workers I’ve been hit pretty hard in the bank account by the events of this year, that has only demonstrated to me more clearly that I can survive without a constant flow of new clients.  So I think it’s time to remind y’all that as of January 1st, it’s going to get harder to see me if you haven’t seen me before; I even plan to remove my business phone number from ads.  Regulars won’t see any difference, nor will anyone who has seen me professionally at least once by the end of this year, so if you’re not yet in that exclusive club, but would like to be, you should contact me pretty soon to get screened and arrange a visit.  I understand that some of you may be interested, but aren’t traveling or seeing anyone right now; that’s perfectly fine as long as you’re screened and paid by New Year’s Eve, even if we have to delay our actual meeting (and I do phone call as well, if that helps).  It’s likely I’ll do one more reminder around the beginning of December, but don’t wait until then; even one session now will protect your ability to book an appointment with me until I finally put away my lingerie for good at some point down the road.

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Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society…and sometimes going too far: it is the…petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group.  –  Lyman Stone

The Proper Study (#652)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

In a new study just published in The Journal of Sex Research…men…said paid sex offered them a space where they could overcome their insecurities and low self-esteem and sidestep their awkwardness in approaching women…paid sex allowed for a shared understanding of what was (and was not) going to follow sex.  Both the man paying for sex and the sex worker understood the nature of the transaction…with a sex worker, men said they did not worry about being sexually inexperienced…Some men indicated that through paid sex they actually could learn new sexual skills that they might use with other women in other circumstances…Paid sex was also described as giving some men a non-threatening context where they felt safe to engage in sex despite their sexual concerns, including the fear of being unable to have an erection…The findings further expand [academic] ideas of what it is that men are really buying when they pay for sex and suggests [amateurs]…underestimate the amount of emotional labor that goes into sex work…

I Spy (#958)

A politician claims that spying isn’t actually spying:

A secretive unit of the Maine State Police…gather[s] information about groups and organizations even when they are not suspected of crimes, including people who are participating in protests…Michael Sauschuck, the [chief pig] commissioner of…Maine…testified at a…legislative hearing about…a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a state trooper…[who] was retaliated against after reporting that the intelligence unit illegally used surveillance tools to monitor innocent citizens…Sauschuck refused to directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit…but…acknowledged under questioning that the center does [spy] on citizens, including groups that organize public protests…[yet still claimed]  “We’re not spying on people”…the Maine State Police might be using powerful new technologies to scan your face and intercept your cellphone signals, and don’t have to tell the public because of an unusual provision in state law…the center…also…participated in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which involves [ratting out people they spy on]…to federal agencies [based on flimsy suspicions and]…racial profiling…

The Missing Word (#981)

If only there were a concise word for smuggling humans to sell them:

…Paul Petersen plead guilty to the offense of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain…Petersen…orchestrated the travel of several pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Western District of Arkansas…to arrange adoption of their children by families living in the United States…[even though that’s illegal under a] 1983 [compact between] the United States…and…the…RMI…

The Monsters Are Due (#1040)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

After a chaotic saga unfolded…centering around two missing teenage girls and a [Milwaukee house fantasized to be] a sex trafficking hub…police said…there is no indication the girls were ever there — or that the house was used for such activity.  The girls, ages 13 and 15, were found by one of their mothers more than three miles away…[but before that] three people [were] shot — including two 14-year-olds — plus…a house [was] set on fire twice and an unknown number of [people were] hurt by the tear gas and rubber bullets police fired into a scattered crowd…

Whimsical Notions (#1051)

Since the “trafficked slaves” myth isn’t getting results any more, the government is now claiming sex workers are actually spies:

Trafficked women in Bahrain, some working as prostitutes, are seeking to collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. sailors that they can later sell, according to [NCIS spook]…Joe Minucci…in [an indoctrination video]…“they sell that information, and that’s how they make more money in order to get themselves out of the [lucrative job] they’re in,” he said…

Bread and Circuses (#1051)

FOSTA just keeps splashing egg all over the feds’ stupid, violent faces:

For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law…because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking….[on] Backpage…of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed.  The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges…with all of the moral panic around the need to pass FOSTA,…the DOJ had not used the law a single time to go after any “sex trafficking” site.  Instead, as we predicted, the law was being used in nuisance lawsuits…Finally…the DOJ made use of FOSTA in shutting down a website and arresting its operator…the DOJ conveniently mashes together sex work and sex trafficking, because that’s the kind of thing law enforcement likes to do…[so] plenty of…sex workers, who previously had relied on Backpage to remain safe and now relied on Martono’s sites, are again put in danger.  The Hacking/Hustling collective…put out a press release calling out what a stupid, counterproductive move this is…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Even political conservatives are beginning to recognize the danger of police violence:

[Cops murder] about 1,700 Americans every year.  In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018…including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window.  Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of [cops] during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).  Police violence in America is…disproportionate to the actual threats facing [cops]…historically, police unionization has led directly to increases in police killings, but no change in crime…When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate’s desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions.  Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is!  Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the “votes” of the rest of us…The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences.  They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards…

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Men…want sex. And I want their money.  –  Maggie, a sugar baby

Whimsical Notions

It’s difficult to tease out what actually happened in this incident due to all the dysphemisms, racism, agency denial, “American exceptionalism” propaganda, and pretenses that healthy young men can be ordered to be asexual:  “While the [NCIS] investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions…due to a recurring problem:  the [refusal of] the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases…[to pretend to be] victimized women…

Drawing Lines

Amateurs’ attempts to draw lines between different “types” of pragmatic sexual behavior are even more absurd when the amateur in question has a PhD:

Although sex is indeed common in sugaring, not all sugar daddies seek such intimate relations.  Similarly, although most sugar babies engage in sugaring in order to meet their expenses, some are hoping for a serious relationship…Self-esteem can be a tricky issue for both sugar babies and daddies.  A sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a john and a sugar baby does not want to feel like she is a prostitute.  Accordingly, sugaring aims for mutual respect between the partners.  This is reflected in the sugaring terminology of “partner” rather than “worker” and “client”…while people speak about “ordering,” or “going to,” a prostitute, they speak about “meeting” or “dating” a sugar baby.  Maren Scull (2020) has identified a range of sugaring types: at one end of the continuum there is sugar prostitution, and at the other end there is sugar friendship and sugar love.  Scull further claims that 40% of women who have sugared do not have sex with their benefactors—and that those who do often have genuine connections with the men…

“Ordering”.  Like a pizza, presumably.  The later parts of the article reveal that this dude seems to have derived most of his “information” about sex work from prohibitionist talking points rather than by consulting sex workers.

Bread and Circuses

The owner of CityGuide was a fool for not moving both his websites’ and his own domiciles to somewhere outside of the violently-prohibitionist US:

A Bay Area man is…awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that [describe ordinary escort advertising sites as “]sex trafficking websites on an international scale[” and include federal prosutors’ disgusting wanking fantasies about…“numerous child trafficking victims”…[Wilhan] Martono first purchased a CityXGuide domain in 2004, but in 2018…he…purchased a domain called “New Backpage”…The websites were set up with physical addresses listed in a Hong Kong apartment, and phone numbers that went back to a property management company there…[but the dumbass sent] wire transfers [back to the US, so]…the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to [steal] the contents of 12 bank accounts…[and] an undisclosed amount of silver bullion…

Business As Usual

All sex workers victimized by cops should sue if at all possible, especially now:

SWOP Behind Bars…caught up with Donah Sandford regarding her federal case against Missouri law enforcement, where [rapist cop] Leon Pullen eventually pleaded guilty to robbing and sexually assaulting escorts…Previously interviewed by FOX Files investigator Chris Hayes, Donah…shares the full story…of her 2009 experience with…law enforcement in St. Louis…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

The word for authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”:

…all-expenses paid [junkets] for [boss pigs and bureaucrats] is one of the ways Nextdoor has been looking to promote its network of online communities to government agencies.  It reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts:  that local [cop shops] and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t…align with the public’s…Nextdoor and the [pigs, bureaucrats and politicians] it [colludes] with say that close ties between the social media platform and the government can help them [build a more pervasive surveillance system]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#943)

It’s good to see a lockdown house getting some well-deserved pushback:

…a…lawsuit claims that Sheri’s Ranch misclassified its [legal prostitutes] as independent contractors, and should have instead classified them as employees and paid them in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The [petitioners] claim that Sheri’s Ranch owes unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation to them and…other[s] who join[ed] the case, as well as portions of their tips they were required to give to the Ranch.  Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sheri’s Ranch filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that its business is not covered by the FLSA because it does not operate in interstate commerce.  The Court rejected this argument, finding the allegations in the complaint that Sheri’s Ranch’s annual sales exceed $500,000, and that its sports bar sells food and beverage products produced outside of Nevada, sufficient to bring the Ranch within the coverage of the FLSA…

Lack of Evidence (#991)

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safety shelter” means “deportation prison”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Three addresses in Luton suspected of housing brothels…were [raided] by police…All of the women, who were from Romania, have been [infantilized] as victims of modern slavery and taken to a safety shelter…[pig] Jim Goldsmith, who led the [raid, admitted]: “It can take up to 10 e[pisodes of harassment by] the police…before [women break down and accept the label of] victim…[to make the persecution stop.  Cops] lie to, bully and exploit…sex [workers to destroy their livelihoods], all in the name of [“rescue”]…

You’d be traumatized too, if a gang of rapist thugs invaded your place of business, stole your money, and abducted you.

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One of the things plague season has demonstrated to me is just how different my lifestyle is to that of most people.  Certainly, I’m losing money just like most small business owners, but fortunately, I have some generous readers, clients and friends who have been helping to ease that pain, and since I have for the past 17 months already been engaged in the process of shifting my business model to a smaller number of regular clients, the sudden drop in client contacts two months ago didn’t hit me as hard (financially or emotionally) as it did younger, less-established sex workers.  And given that my official residence (which has now become my primary residence) is on 11 acres of land 20 miles from the nearest town, most of the urban restrictions fell pretty lightly on my shoulders and gave me time to do a lot of long-neglected renovation.  Of course, the various restrictions (both real and made-up) are as annoying and frustrating to me as they are to any non-puritan, and I’m very concerned for the many small business owners I know who are being slowly strangled to death by politicians trying to save their own careers.  But for once, a disaster didn’t completely disrupt my life, as so many have in the past.  And I think that’s something I’ll be very thankful for over the next couple of years.

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Since so many people are bored at home right now, I want to offer y’all a special deal.  From now until June 2nd (Whores’ Day), I’m offering all four of my books, autographed, as a set, for only $80; that’s a savings of $24, kinda like getting them signed for only $4 each!  If you live in Canada, it’s only $100 US, and anywhere else in the world, $120 US.  If you live in either the US or Canada, I’ll also throw in the DVD of The War on Whores for only $10 US more (click here for Canada).  Prefer kindle editions?  I’ve put all four books on sale on Amazon for only 99¢ each.  If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy autographed copies (or any copies, for that matter), there you are!

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